Editorial - Thirty Flirty and Thriving

By the time you are reading this, it will have been a year since we first got the news that we got this job.

It feels like a lifetime ago and simultaneously, like yesterday.

We knew this year would fly by. But damn, was it quick. 

The highs; the lows; the unprompted giggle fits; the sleepless nights. The pride of seeing our work with our own eyes; touching it with our own hands.

It surely was an incredibly eventful year that we will cherish forever. 

Every story we broke; every laugh we stole with our (attempts at) comedy; every reflection we sparked. It feels surreal at times to think that we have been responsible for these moments. We may not be changing lives with this job, but knowing that we touched (at least some of) you has been one of the greatest accomplishments of the past year. 

We could not have wished for a better team to embark on this journey with: we feel like parents who are scared to see their children grow so fast, but can’t help but be proud of them - rest assured, we will support you in whatever is next. 


If I think back to the Ilaria that first approached this job, I see a shy, insecure girl with a big dream of turning her passion into a career. My imposter syndrome might have worsened in certain aspects, but I surely am (slightly) more sociable, more sure of my abilities, and even more convinced that this is the path I want to follow. This would not have been possible without the team: I will probably never stop thanking you for the incredible year we had together. Thanks to our A&D Editor Ciara Darling: our friendship is perhaps one of the best things to come out of this year (pun intended). Tessa, being your Deputy has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life; you have been the best friend and mentor I could have wished for, and I will cherish our friendship and collaboration forever.

(You have no proof that I typed this whilst listening to The Tortured Poets Department, I don’t know what you’re talking about.)


It would be rather unfortunate for a journalist to run out of words to say. And yet, that’s exactly what’s happened. As the cursor blinks and the sun sets, I realize that I haven’t been able to fully process just how momentous this year has been for The University Observer and for me personally. What could I possibly say that hasn’t been said already? 

So, reader, I won’t take up too much for your time. I’ll state my piece with some semblance of composure. The budding, wide-eyed writer who first entered the Observer office as Film and TV Editor is no more. The woman who is passing on the mantle of Editor to the next generation has taken many tumbles and has gotten back up wiser each time. But between the moments of self-doubt and confusion, the clouds parted and the sun’s rays shone to illuminate the most hardworking, dedicated and all-around fun team I could have asked for. The history of The University Observer was and still is a lot to live up to - but I’ll be damned if I didn’t try my hardest. I can leave knowing that The University Observer is decidedly thirty, flirty and thriving.

Before I close this chapter of my life and run to finish the articles that were due millennia ago, I’d like to thank each section editor and contributor who made the UO this year. Thank you again to Ilaria for everything. Thank you to Heather Reynolds for saying: “If you don’t apply for Editor, I’ll be mad at you” - it’s the best thing you could have said. Thank you to Ciara Darling, the backbone of the Observer, who spent countless hours making the very pages you cradle, so memorable. Before you get to the words - someone needs to persuade you they are even worth reading. That’s what designers are masters of and no publication would survive without them. Remember that. 

Facing the real world feels terrifying now; but the memories of this past year will surely be a fond memory to comfort us when we need it the most. 

Until next time, 

Tessa & Ilaria 

PS: Just write! Keep going when it’s terrible and stop when you can somewhat bear what’s on the page.